Following this week's episode of WWE SmackDown Live, we are just one week away from the blue brand's major move to FOX Sports, and the brand is readying itself for the big premiere episode on Friday, October 4th.
We already know that the name of the show will be tweaked when it moves to FOX, as it will be called Friday Night SmackDown, and we know of two big matches taking place on the show, as Brock Lesnar will challenge Kofi Kingston for the WWE Title, and Charlotte Flair will team up with Becky Lynch to face the team of Bayley and Sasha Banks.
The pro wrestling world has been buzzing about the impending war between WWE and AEW when AEW premieres its TV show on TNT on October 2nd, but many fans are overlooking the budding brand war in WWE which could intensify as SmackDown moves to FOX.
With both FOX and NBCUniversal, who owns USA Network and airs both RAW and NXT, likely wanting top stars on its respective shows, it will be very interesting to see which names move to which brands during the upcoming WWE roster draft on October 11th.
With the above in mind, let's take a look at six WWE Superstars that FOX reportedly wants for Friday Night SmackDown.
#6 Rey Mysterio
According to a new report from Slice Wrestling, FOX Network executives are very high on the idea of Rey Mysterio appearing on Friday Night SmackDown when the show moves to the network next week.
Despite being used in a lesser role on WWE TV since he last returned to the company, Mysterio remains very popular with the Latin demographic, a key segment of viewers that FOX no doubt wants to maximize when SmackDown premieres on FOX Sports.
#5 Roman Reigns
Currently, The Big Dog is technically a SmackDown Live Superstar, but with the Wildcard Rule in effect, he has been appearing on virtually every RAW and SmackDown broadcast since the rule's inception.
Despite WWE keeping Roman Reigns out of the main event and top title picture since he returned from his battle with leukemia, The Big Dog remains one of the company's top stars, and FOX Sports no doubt recognizes that and wants Reigns on the blue brand going forward.
With Reigns recently landing the cover of WWE 2K20 alongside Becky Lynch and remaining a high profile player in WWE, FOX likely wants Reigns on SmackDown as he has also been used heavily in advertising for the show's move to FOX Sports
We do know that Reigns will be on hand for the big premiere episode of SmackDown next week, as that will be an "all hands on deck" show, but beyond that, Reigns' brand future remains uncertain. Should The Big Dog land on SmackDown permanently, it would certainly help give the show a boost of star power.
#4 Brock Lesnar
Part-time WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar will be returning to TV next week when he challenges Kofi Kingston for the WWE Title on SmackDown's debut episode on FOX Sports, but beyond next week, it remains unknown on which brand Lesnar will land following the WWE draft on October 11th.
Should Lesnar defeat Kingston for the WWE Title next week, it would seem likely that The Beast would become a permanent fixture of Friday Night SmackDown given the title win, but questions linger surrounding Lesnar's status - will he remain on RAW given Paul Heyman is the Director of the show? Will he remain on RAW because it's written in his contract? Many questions, few answers.
We do know, however, according to Slice Wrestling, that FOX Sports is high on Brock Lesnar being one of the faces of Friday Night SmackDown, as the network looks to brand the show as more of a sports product as opposed to an entertainment product.
"Another Big Name Being Mentioned As Possibly Moving To SmackDown When The Show Moves To FOX Is Brock Lesnar," reads a Tweet from Slice Wrestling. "This Is All Part Of The Plan To Give SmackDown More Of A Sports Like Presentation As WWE And FOX Continue To Make Big Plans For The Blue Show."
#3 Becky Lynch
Arguably the most popular Superstar in WWE at the moment is "The Man", Becky Lynch.
Alongside Roman Reigns, Lynch will be gracing the cover of the upcoming WWE 2K20 video game, becoming the first woman ever to appear on the video game franchise's cover.
Along with the video game cover appearance, Lynch recently filmed two high-profile ESPN commercials for SportsCenter, and the spots are currently airing on both TV and via ESPN's digital platforms.
Lynch is the reigning WWE RAW Women's Champion, and she is next set to defend her RAW Women's Title against Sasha Banks inside Hell in a Cell at next month's WWE Hell in a Cell PPV.
Interestingly, the Hell in a Cell PPV takes place before the upcoming WWE draft on October 11th, making Becky Lynch's brand status the subject of much speculation. According to Slice Wrestling, WWE has discussed sending Becky Lynch to Friday Night SmackDown, which could hint at a possible RAW Women's title loss for The Man.
"WWE is looking to send Becky Lynch to SmackDown during the upcoming WWE draft as a result of SmackDown’s big move to FOX beginning on October, 4th 2019," reads the Slice Wrestling report.
#2 Ronda Rousey
Former WWE RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey has been off TV since her title loss at WrestleMania 35, and her TV return status is currently unknown.
At last word, Rousey was taking time off from WWE TV as she wishes to have a baby with her husband Travis Browne, but there remains no word on if or when she might return to WWE TV.
With FOX Sports looking to rebrand Friday Night SmackDown as more of a sports product, names like Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey are sure to be at the top of FOX Sports executive's lists as the blue brand prepares to make its big debut next week.
Talents such as Lesnar and Rousey are former MMA and UFC stars, and lend real sports credibility to WWE and SmackDown, as announce teams on the blue brand can mention and hype Lesnar and Rousey's past as shoot fighting champions.
According to Slice Wrestling, FOX Sports executives are eyeing top WWE talents for the SmackDown brand, and "the list [of names] is stacked and includes Roman Reigns, Rey Mysterio, most of the WWE [Four Horsewomen] and The New Day."
WWE has yet to announce Ronda Rousey's TV future, so a surprise return on Friday Night SmackDown next week could be a major get for the blue brand.
#1 The Fiend Bray Wyatt
Despite FOX Sports wanting to brand WWE Friday Night SmackDown as more of a sports-oriented product, the show will continue to feature a healthy blend of entertainment given the very nature of pro wrestling.
In a report published back in November of 2018, The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that FOX Sports wants to see "less comedy and more in a sports direction" for Friday Night SmackDown when the show makes it move next week. Enter The Fiend.
Bray Wyatt has been dazzling fans and pundits alike since debuting his new character of The Fiend, which is anything but comedic, and it looks like both RAW and SmackDown could enter a bidding war for the services of the multi-talented Bray Wyatt.
According to WrestleVotes, FOX wants The Fiend Bray Wyatt to appear on Friday Night SmackDown, given his recent surge in both status and popularity, but the move is not guaranteed to be happening if Paul Heyman has anything to say about it. Heyman, the current Director of WWE RAW, is reportedly very high on Bray Wyatt and wants him to remain on RAW following the roster draft taking place on October 11th.
Which other WWE stars would you like to see end up on Friday Night SmackDown? Let us know in the comment section and be sure to follow SK on Twitter and Facebook!